Folter – Tactical Dispute (CD-R, Baby Smasher Records)

Folter is Zach Guttowsky, who has also done work as power electronics artist Glasgow Smile and has been a revolving member of Black Leather Jesus. This project is based almost solely on harsh noise wall textures, and while Tactical Dispute might not exactly embody the type of stationary, nihilist ideals of other HNW artists, the static textures are apparent throughout Folter’s work.

The CD-R is made up of four relatively short tracks, each titled with the idea of military themes in mind. “Broken” starts things off with a nice layering of thick, dense static along with a shuffling rhythm behind it. It’s quickly remixed into a shuddering, quick texture of static and bass, and these patterns of sound don’t really stay for long before Folter changes some aspect of the interior wall. The same is true for most of these walls; they often adopt a texture early, then adapt to it and morph into something new that tends to stick until the end of the wall.

Folter crafts some very nice textures, and that’s why it’s almost disappointing that he doesn’t allow them to play out just a bit longer. Instead of the quick transitions, it would be nice to have only a couple during the tracks, rather than three or four. “Disturbed” and “Crushed Alive” do this moreso than the others; at only 4 minutes, the latter is the most stationary of the four tracks, and it works well because it allows the listener room to soak up the textures.

Folter does generally give the walls room to breathe, at least for a little while, and thankfully even when he does explore new areas of the walls, he’s able to produce tightly coiled noise. It means that Tactical Dispute is a good blend of harsh noise and walls, although a little more patience with textures might generate more depth for the listener, and also use less of Folter’s textural ideas!

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